Last month, I published a short story called One Day in October. It’s about a 40-plus single woman who is used to a daily structured life that revolves around her cafe and her difficult parents. Her name is Gita. Gita is happily single and older than my earlier protagonists (who were all over 30). The idea for her character was inspired by one of my 50-plus friends who also lives with difficult parents. Although she doesn’t own a cafe like my protagonist, my friend is a great chef and home baker.
When I wrote ODIO, I had not planned for a sequel. In fact, I had never written a series or sequel before this. I have author friends who have built book after book with the same hero and heroine, managing to cover years of incidents and experiences. The thought of keeping track of all that always made me anxious. But with Gita, I knew that she was going to get a sequel as soon as my author friend said, “I’m waiting for a sequel.”
So Gita and Neel came together for another short story which I published a few days ago. One Night in November is set six weeks later from the end of the first short story. Like most of my stories, this one focuses on family relationships. Love and romantic relationships change as we get older. When you’re single and 40-plus and living with your parents in India, it’s reasonable to expect that a new relationship could invite some family drama into your life.
While the first instalment is a meet-cute sweet romance, the sequel is more of family drama with a touch of romance. Some would call it women’s fiction. I used to be a plotter but these days I’m more prone to letting my characters take me from scene to scene. This time, Gita took me to her home one dark night. This time, Gita’s parents needed to learn something. And of course, everyone needed to know how Neel is a sweetheart.
Will there be a third short story? I’m not sure. For now, Gita and Neel are enjoying their privacy after the happy ending in ONIN. I’m happy for them and especially happy for Gita who was never looking for love but it just happened. As all my readers know by now, my heroines are never pining for love or marriage or babies. It can be great to just live your life and see what comes along.
Sudesna tweets at sudesna_ghosh